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Tips & Help Thread: Minecraft

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Besides killing cows, pigs, etc for various meats to cook you can also acquire food through other sources such as,

1. Fishing. Just craft a fishing pole and find a pool of water to cast your line. As with the meats you should be able to cook the fish.

2. Mushroom stew. Seen all those brown and red mushrooms everywhere? Collect them. Craft some bowls with a little bit of wood and put them in your crafting table with a red and brown mushroom. They don't restore much but they are plentiful.

Unlike Don't Starve food in this game will never go bad, though you can certainly get sick by eating uncooked food or rotten flesh from zombies.

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Phil has said he's had FPS issues when he's playing Minecraft, even with his high-end GPU. This is probably because most GPUs don't recognize Java applications (like Minecraft) as games, and because of that, limit the amount of processing power that gets used on it. To add Minecraft as a "3D application", so it can use more of your GPU's power and get much higher benchmarks, open your Nvidia control panel (for me, it's by right-clicking my desktop, and selecting Nvidia control panel in the drop-down list, but it's probably located in your control panel as well), go to the "manage 3D settings" list, then select "add" in "program settings". Locate your javaw.exe file, usually in "'C:\Program Files\Java\*java version*\bin", then select "open". If there is an "apply" button, hit that as well. You should be good to go after doing this. :)

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For Phil's 2018 Indie Marathon, I assume is not going to play for long and only gonna play for 1-2 hours and will be playing single player, especially since he's playing on console.

I have some idea's on what to do and I'm sure the stream chat would already be telling Phil what to do.

First task: Survive the night.

Gather material and find shelter before night fall. (12 hours in the game lasts 7 minutes. So 7 minutes of day and 7 minutes of night.)  mine during night until day break and stay and explore, or take a few supplies and walk in any direction to find a new shelter.

  • Find a village (not recommended for first night unless you spot one right away when spawning in), or collect wood logs to craft first wood pick axe, then cobble to make essential stone tools (stone sword, shovel, axe, pickaxe, furnace; hoe is optional)
  • Find coal and make torches. You can mine for it, or use wood to make charcoal, you can also burn tools, or most wood items for fuel.
  • Find food. Kill animals (kill sheep if possible for wool), or harvest and grow seeds for wheat, or find a village and raid crops/chests.
  • Shelter when sun is starting to set. If you're picking to shelter underground and not in a pre-made structure. In any area to get underground, block off entrance(s) and block off any dark/unlit areas if inside a cave with any blocks and set torches inside to prevent hostile mobs from spawning inside your blocked off area. If digging your own hole, dig in a small room, like 3x3x3 or larger. Make chest and set it down. Manage inventory to get rid of junk and put valuables inside chest that you don't want to lose if you die. Cook meat with furnace if needed, eat to recover from hunger/lost hearts. Make a bed if desired and set inside well lit room to set your spawn. (make sure ceiling is 3 blocks high and avoid blocks around the sides and foot of the bed) 
  • Start mining. Inside shelter/structure dig down in a diagonal staircase manner. Try to find more coal if needed and find iron. While digging deeper, aside from hostile mob sounds, wind/creepy ambient sounds indicate a cave is nearby. When finding a cave system, light up with torches quickly, watch for pitfalls and overhangs that mobs can drop from. Block off unlit paths you don't want to tackle. Try not to engage hostile mobs, or explore too deeply in caves systems, or ravines without armor. If iron ore is found, smelt at least one iron ore block to make a shield for protection. Find more iron to make full iron gear of armor, sword and tools.

Second task: Find objective

  • If there enough time to do more, find an objective to do. 
  • You can check in the options menu for achievements and pick one to do, or gather valuables and explore more and free roam map for a new place to shelter and discover new biomes and structures.  (i.e.: After having full iron gear, gather materials to craft a bow and craft lots of arrows to go to the Nether.)


  • When exploring the surface, bodies of water one of the easiest ways deal with hostile mobs, with or without weapons. Zombies, Spiders. Creepers are best in the water and they will slow down to a crawl and can't maneuver well. While you will be much faster and allows you to get up close. Creepers will not break blocks when they explode in water, even in water that is only 1 block deep. They still will give you and other mobs splash damage when they explode. So you don't want to be close. If you happen to be close to a Creeper with a shield in water, you can use that to block some of the explosion damage and survive, especially with armor. Use a Creeper in water to gather more mobs around you and use the explosion while blocking to kill not only the Creeper, but kill, or cause a lot of damage to the other mobs. Do not be in water where a skeleton, or a Witch can hit you, being in water with a Skeleton is a bad combination.
  • As long as there is water you can jump to, even if the water is only 1 block deep, you can jump in the water at any height, even all the way up to the build limit and take no fall damage. You can use that to get around quickly, or get away from a hostile mob. Hostile mobs will drop down a few blocks to chase you, but they will not drop down if the fall might cause them too much damage.
  • Always keep a water bucket on you. Use that to put yourself out, or you catch fire, like if you touch lava on accident. You can use the bucket to pour over pools of lava and walk safely across, You can also use the water as a ladder. pour over the side of a long drop and fall in to descend slowly. Grab the water source block with the bucket as you fall and you can collect the water to use again and you will still descend safely. The same works in reverse. You can pour water a few blocks above you to get out of a pit. If you're fast, you can collect the water while swimming up and pour again a few blocks up and keep climbing if you're at the bottom of a long cliff.
  • Besides water, one quick way to go straight down if you're digging, is to look straight down and have your feet between two blocks. Look for a thin black line around the border of every block, stand in the edge of two blocks and dig down, alternating between breaking the two blocks. You'll ladder down safely and if you break through to a cave, or lava below your feet, you can stop and you won't fall straight through.
  • If you do manage to get to the Nether, be well equipped with arrows, or at least snow balls and armor. Bring cobble, Ghasts cannot blow up cobble. Not only is the terrain of the Nether already treacherous, if you're mining through Nether Rack, be careful not to dig too fast. There are random pockets of lava hiding in Nether Rack and lava flows much faster in the Nether. If digging a staircase up, dig a staircase 2 blocks wide and stay on one side, so if you do accidentally hit  a pocket of lava, immediately step to the opposite side and let the lava pour down. The lava will not hit you.
  • Deserts, with a lot of viability over the flat-ish terrain, are one of the best biomes to spot things at a distance. Not just mobs, but structures, like Desert Temples and villages. Make a 1x1 pillar with blocks to get up high, or climb up a high point and look for Temples. Also, look for oodly large square openings in the sand. If you see a uniform 5x5, or larger square pit in the sand, it's probably a Dungeon Spawner, that would have treasure chests with loot.
  • Another way to find Dungeon Spawners is to listen closely. If you're on the surface, or underground and you hear excessive groans/mob noises of only one type of mob, follow that noise. It's probably a spawner.
  • In the options menu, turn on captions, you will see captions of all sounds around you, even sounds that are too far to hear. This can be helpful to know and be alerted when there is a hazard near by, like lava, or a hostile mob. Alternatively, you can use it to find something helpful, like it will show you if Villagers are near, even passive mobs for food.
  • In the options menu, you can tweek the sounds so noises that are not too important like passive mobs, block breaks and music can be turned down and sounds from hostile mobs can be turned up to max, so some of the quieter hostile mobs, like Creepers, you can hear their steps before they surprise you.
Edited by MrPapaveraceae

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--Phil, if you fall into a pit you dont need to dig your way out, you can just jump and place blocks under you, you'll get out of pits a lot faster.

--Also try to keep your hunger at 100% fed because if you get injured and lose hearts your life wont regenerate unless your hunger bar is full.

--When digging out blocks never mine the blocks directly above your head, you can easily be killed by falling gravel and/or sand.

--When exploring unfamiliar areas be sure to keep a close eye on the ground (theres always sudden drops in the minecraft landscape)

--If you need wool craft shears and use them on sheep, the sheeps wool will always eventually grow back (you can shear them infinitely)

--If you obtain valuable items store them in a chest as soon as possible (dying with good loot is the worst)

--The easiest ways to stay fed are fishing & farming carrot and/or melons imo

--Always keep a bucket of water on you in case you catch fire and/or lava appears

Edited by Icureditwithmybrain

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Now that you got past surviving your fist night and build a shelter and did pretty good.

I have some general ideas on what to do next, this should occupy you for a couple streams at least.

  • Gather more wood and craft 2, to 3 double chests inside your base and craft a few trap doors.
  • Use the chests to sort surplus supplies, use the trap doors to cover the top of the steps, if you don't want to keep falling in. Alternatively, you can also build any barrier around the shaft to also keep from falling in.
  • Gather more cobble and craft more stairs, 2-3 stacks (a stack is 64 items of one thing).
  • Increase the height of the stair well. I would suggest two extra blocks of clearance.
  • Use the cobble you gathered to craft more stairs, 2-3 stacks (a stack is 64 items of one thing.) and use the stairs to lay down in the stair well. Using stairs uses much less energy and much faster than jumping up them and will not induce hunger so quickly.
  • Work on getting full iron gear (armor, sword and tools). I would worry about getting diamond just yet.
  • If you do find diamond, you'll need 5 at the beginning to craft one diamond pickaxe to mind obsidian witch you will need to craft an Enchanting Table, with the last two diamonds. You will also need to find Lapis. Use the Enchanting Table with the Lapis to get better armor protection and increase the damage of your sword.

That's all I got for now.

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Second stream, you got a lot done.

Before going too far from your house, I would again, make a stable source of food, amass some materials, like wood and build more chests for more storage and sort out your inventory. At 4 double chests, but I would go for 6 double chests. 

  • Chest 1 Building blocks/Mined blocks
  • Chest 2 Tools/Equipment (fences, doors, furnaces, crafting tables, ect...)/Redstone components
  • Chest 3 Weapons/Armor
  • Chest 4 Plants/Organics
  • Chest 5 Food/Ingredients for edible recipes/Potions/Ingredients for brewing
  • Chest 6 Ores/Valuables/Rare Items

I would still try to make improvements on the stair well and increase the height before placing stair blocks. The reason I keep mentioning the stair blocks is that actions like sprinting and jumping make you lose hunger faster and stairs uses very little energy and is faster to move over.

I would go down to mine some more. Getting a good amount of Iron and coal. Always keep plenty of torches and when you have some iron, enough to keep a bucket on you, always carry a bucket of water with you when mining, be ready to use it in case you come in contact with lava. 

Beside iron armor and an iron sword, when you can get iron, one of the first things you should make and keep equipped as much as possible is a shield. The Shield might become slightly cumbersome when trying to place blocks, but the shield (when blocking) can keep you from being overwhelmed by hostile mobs and get out in a bad situation.

Even after you have full iron armor, an iron sword and iron tools, you should still get more iron and have a good amount of coal as well.

Don't keep too much valuables in your inventory, drop off some of the valuables in a temporary chest while mining, every so often. When dont collecting a lot of ores/treasures, transport your haul to the surface, but if you die with valuables on you, you might lose all of your inventory if you can't get to it after you respawn. So try not to engage mobs if possible.

When you have enough materials, then you can prepare to explore away from your house.

When I go exploring, I go prepared and does make a few things easier. These are essentials I keep on me at all times if I can and while I'm on the move.

In the Hotbar (the bottom row of the inventory, from left to right):

  • Sword
  • Bow
  • Axe
  • Pickaxe
  • Shovel
  • Cobble
  • Dirt
  • Torches (full stack)
  • Food (preferably a full stack of steak, but bread at the beginning will be okay too)

In the upper part of the inventory (backpack):

  • Iron ingots
  • Coal
  • Logs
  • Sticks
  • Crafting Table
  • Furnace
  • Ladders
  • Chests
  • Bucket of water
  • Boat
  • Arrows
  • Gravel
  • Extra pickaxes
  • Extra shovel
  • Bed

I included a screen shot if what it looks like.

For some blocks I have half a stack, so when you find and collect more, it doesn't fill up your inventory too fast. This inventory makes room a little tight. You might have to manage inventory frequently, to remove junk, or off load valuables.

The bed is there for when you feel you are far enough where you don't want to have to travel all the way back to where you location is, in case you die.

Since you do not have an easy way to find your way back home, either make and carry a map, or leave markers, like blocks you stack on the ground and leave torches on top.

Losing your location to your home is a real possibility, so make a plan before you go on how you will find your way back. On short distances, and especially on long ones.

One tool you can make, since you built your home around where you originally spawned, is to craft a compass, it will always point to your original spawn, even if you move your bed and sleep in it some where far from your home. That way, no matter how far you travel, you'll find your way back.

As long as you know where your home is, using another bed to reset your spawn should be fine. Useful when you traveled very far, or stopped to mine and will be there for a while. If you place a new bed at your new location and sleep in it, you will spawn there. That way you can get back to where you died and possibly collect all the items you dropped if you get there quickly and if wasn't destroyed in lava, or blown up by a Creeper.

You do not have to break and take your original bed. You can just craft more beds and place as many of them down as you want, it's the last bed that you slept in is that bed you will respawn in.

When you place a bed, be sure the ceiling is 3 blocks high and it is best if the sides  and foot of the bed is not obstructed, also have the area around the bed well lit. If there are dark areas too close to the bed, a monster will wake you and attack you.


Ah! One last tip. This might sound pretty random, but when it does come time that you go out and explore, you might come across an Enderman, the tall, slender, dark passive mobs. You might remember them, but do not look at them in the eye (hover the cross hairs over their head. Look down instead. They can do a lot of damage in a short time. 


Edited by MrPapaveraceae

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